Privacy of personal information is a contentious issue. In a day and age when people share more information about themselves than ever before, intentionally or not, there is an intrinsic value in privacy that we cannot forsake.
Data Privacy and anonymity afford us protection, ensuring certain information cannot be used to harm us.
Data Privacy protects our bank accounts from being robbed and safeguards our health and welfare from the eyes of those who would target us among the masses.
Maintaining privacy of sensitive information is critical to the security of both individuals and businesses.
A business that allows its trade secrets to be exposed is at risk of collapse if a competitor abuses the information.
A person that reveals their travel plans on Facebook puts their house at risk of burglary by announcing when they won't be home.
And entities you do business with may share or sell PII (Personally Identifiable Information), such as names, addresses and social security numbers, to third party firms for marketing purposes (FRII does not).
Due to the ever-increasing risk of identity theft, everyone should safeguard their PII.
There are many ways you can do this.
To secure your data, you can use a wide variety of encryption tools such as BitLocker, Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) or open source encryption programs like VeraCrypt (A fork of the now defunct TrueCrypt).
Browser traffic can be anonymized using tools such as Adblock or Ghostery to block ads and trackers (ads and trackers are frequently abused and exploited to steal information or infect computers), or by using the TOR service.
The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said that, in order to deny terrorists and attackers “safe havens,” we must remove these options. But this call is tantamount to saying we should ban locks on our doors because they can keep police from getting into criminal hideouts. The criminals still use them, but now they have an easier time attacking the rest of us.
Data Privacy is a tool and, like any tool, it can be used beneficially or maliciously. We should not remove it simply because someone might use it irresponsibly.